OPINION: It’s interesting to see these full-page ads in today’s papers, signed by an impressive list of Australian business and corporate heavyweights.

Heads of charities and superannuation funds, union and education bosses – and they all happen to be women.

They’re successful in their own right.

Deb Knight
Deborah Knight says more affordable childcare should be key step to reducing the gender pay gap. (Instagram)

Women like Nicola Forrest, who heads up the Mindaroo Foundation; the CEO of Fortescue Metals, Elizabeth Gaines; and the wonderful Ronnie Kahn from Oz Harvest, who I’ve spoken to a number of times on my radio show about her charity work.

And they make a lot of sense.

They’ve written an open letter to the Prime Minister calling for help to get more women into the workforce and top of the list is childcare, making it more affordable for all families so more women who want to take up full-time work can. 

If we want to fix the gender pay gap, so women can take up more than just part-time work, we need to look at childcare.

As it stands, women make up two-thirds of all part-time workers – and the biggest barrier to working more hours is the cost of childcare.

It costs so much that many women are just working to cover the cost of the childcare fees – up to $200 a day in some centres.

And that makes no sense at all – no sense for families or the economy overall.

That’s a massive untapped resource dragging down our economic growth.

It’s estimated an extra $60 billion could be added to our economy over the next two decades if we got childcare right.

That’s a lot of untapped potential.

We got a taste of free childcare during the peak of the pandemic and it’s something that needs to be looked at in the longer term. 

Billions could be added to the Australian economy if we get our childcare policy right, Deborah Knight writes. (iStock)

If we want to fix the gender pay gap, so women can take up more than just part-time work, we need to look at childcare.

And it’s not just something to benefit women or families – it will help all of us.

If we want our economy to grow at the rate it could, to help us all, the cost of childcare has to be looked at.

Money doesn’t grow on trees – we know that – and we have to spend taxpayers dollars wisely.

But delivering more affordable childcare is a win-win and it should be on the table in this year’s budget.

This content first appear on 9news

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